SupChina’s Serica Initiative is hosting a free webinar and film screening on December 1st, 2020 with makers of the documentary Finding Ying Ying. The film is about a Chinese graduate student that disappeared in 2017 and her family’s attempt to find her.
On Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, SupChina will first host a webinar at 12:00 p.m. EST with two people involved in the film on their own personal experience of being a Chinese student in America and how that encouraged them to make the film.
Then later that day at 7:00 p.m. EST SupChina will host a film screening of the documentary followed by a round table discussion with the filmmakers moderated by Amy Chua.
On July 22nd, GAPABA and NAPABA co-hosted a webinar panel entitled “Women’s Leadership Network: Pathbreakers,” which AABANY was proud to co-sponsor. The event, moderated by GAPABA President Angela Hsu and Hannah Kim, Chief Legal Officer of Energizer Holdings, featured six panelists who discussed the complexities of being an Asian American woman in the legal field, sharing personal anecdotes and advice with those wishing to break the so-called “bamboo ceiling” and “glass ceiling.”
The panelists included Amy Chua, author and Professor of Law at Yale Law School; Hon. Neomi Rao, a judge in the D.C. Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals; Marie Oh Huber, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel & Secretary at eBay; Hon. Lorna Schofield, a United States District Court Judge in the Southern District of New York; Jessie K. Liu, Former United States Attorney in D.C.; and Selena Loh LaCroix, Vice Chair & Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry.
The event was split into two sections: extracurricular development, and career changes and advice. During the first part of the event, the panelists discussed how they felt they had found success as Asian American women in typically white, male-dominated fields. All six panelists agreed that cultivating deep, lasting relationships was one of the most important keys to success. Others added that not allowing yourself to get discouraged was vital, especially because minorities often find their leadership abilities and competency questioned.
“There will always be assumptions based on our appearance and backgrounds, but the way to get around this is perseverance,” Liu said. Chua added that because of these assumptions, the playing field is not level; she admitted that she was forced to out-work and out-prepare her colleagues, and learning how to acknowledge the existence of stereotypes (such as the Model Minority Myth), while not focusing on them.
The panelists also discussed how they ended up in their current positions and in the legal field more generally. While each story was unique, they all shared a common theme – to get to the high-ranking positions they currently hold or have previously held, they had to begin at the lowest point on the totem pole and work their way up. Having a mentor that pushed them to work harder and guided them through their career choices made a big difference.
“I firmly believe that you can’t do it alone; things don’t happen without help. And I believe that the road is littered with hard-working smart people, but there are other qualities you need to have: taking initiative and asking someone to be your mentor can go a long way,” Judge Schofield advised. While Huber agreed that the best relationships arise organically, she noted the need for organizational and structural change to allow minorities a greater chance to form relationships; “otherwise,” she said, “people are going to be left out.”
One of the most inspiring pieces of advice shared by the panelists was how they reacted to controversy and criticism. Chua admitted to writing provocative pieces even when her own mother warned against it, and found three main ways to maintain her sanity: riding it out, standing her ground, and rejecting bitterness and pettiness.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Asian American women get shoved under the bus disproportionately because of the Model Minority Myth,” Chua shared. “But it is vital to be generous and optimistic regardless.”
The second section of the discussion focused more specifically on switching careers and taking risks professionally. Many of the panelists switched from the private to the public sector, and though the motivations to make this switch varied from person to person, they all noted that the choice is based both on the context of where you are in life and in your mindset.
Judge Schofield shared that the decision for her to leave the corporate world took a great deal of time, thought, and courage, but when the opportunity arose, she was very glad she took it.
Lacroix added that “as scary as it was to take the plunge, I haven’t looked back since.” She explained that “sometimes your corporation and your own personal integrity might diverge — if it gets very far from each other the discomfort level can get really hard. Trust your own instincts and values, because that’s all you have at the end of the day. If that’s something that diverges from your corporation, do not be afraid to make that choice. You’re the only one who can build and maintain that integrity.”
On taking risks, Liu added that nearly every job has some degree of risk associated with it. She noted that her personal philosophy is to say ‘yes’ to opportunities whenever they arise and see where it goes from there, because you never know if or when it may come again.
Ultimately, the panelists all shared that while blazing the trail as Asian American women – often facing harsh assumptions and negative stereotypes – was difficult, it was also extremely rewarding. Judge Schofield advised the audience that “people are going to notice you’re different so you might as well do something with that. Embrace that you’re different and do it with confidence.”
AABANY is honored to have been a co-sponsor for the event, and we would like to thank GAPABA for putting together a wonderful panel, as well as all the speakers for their sage advice and inspiring stories.
Remember Amy Chua and her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which stirred up a storm of controversy when it first came out, coined the term Tiger Mom and brought down a heap of criticism on her and her alleged child-rearing practices?
Well, Careerist columnist Vivia Chen has an update for us about Chua’s two daughters. Are they in rehab or therapy (or worse)? Follow the link to find out. (It’s the second article, after “Moolah for Diversity,” and subscription may be required.)
NAPABA’s 23rd Annual National Convention: Sustainability took place last week in Atlanta, Georgia, at the Omni CNN Center from November 17 through 20. Among the more than 1100 attorneys from around the country was our contingent from New York.
AABANY was well-represented at the NAPABA National Convention.
Judge Denny Chin, past AABANY President and currently the only active APA Federal appellate circuit judge, was the keynote speaker at Saturday night’s installation banquet. Judge Chin shared his experiences as a district court judge, regaling the capacity crowd with fascinating, funny and sometimes touching stories from the wide variety of cases he presided over in his fifteen years on the bench as a United States District Court Judge.
Don Liu, General Counsel of Xerox and AABANY member, introduced Friday’s plenary luncheon speaker, Yale Law School Professor and best-selling author Amy Chua. Don himself was honored with NAPABA’s prestigious Trailblazer Award on Friday evening. In a moving and heartfelt acceptance speech, Don honored his recently-deceased father as a trailblazer in his own right.
At Saturday night’s installation banquet, NAPABA presented its Best Under 40 award recipients, and AABANY was represented by Director Bobby Liu, General Counsel at MD Sass, and Pauline Yeung-Ha, Co-Chair Solo and Small Firm Committee and name partner at Grimaldi & Yeung. Also honored was My Chi To, Secretary of AALFNY (Asian American Law Fund of New York) and partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.
On Thursday, at the NAPABA Bar Leadership Institute, AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen was the luncheon speaker, talking about AABANY’s experience as the first affiliate with a full-time executive director.
On Friday, Judge Chin led the AABANY re-enactment team in a program entitled “Race, Color and Citizenship: Ozawa and Thind,” which re-created two Supreme Court cases from the 1920s in which the Court upheld the denial of naturalization to two Asian Americans on the basis of race and color. The cast, led by Judge Chin and Kathy Hirata Chin, was comprised of AABANY members, including many AABANY Directors: Vincent Chang, Yang Chen, Francis Chin, Lauren Lee, Susan Moon, Esther Nguonly, Liza Sohn, Vinoo Varghese, Jessica Wong and Michael Yap.
Throughout the conference, many other AABANY members, including many past AABANY leaders, spoke on or moderated various panels, including: Sylvia Fung Chin, John Flock, Parkin Lee, and Hon. Doris Ling Cohan.
Congratulations also to Hofstra Law School which was recognized on November 18 as the NAPALSA (National Asian Pacific American Law Students Association) Affiliate of the Year. NAPALSA held several programs and meetings during the NAPABA National Convention.
Thanks to everyone who took part in the NAPABA 2011 National Convention, and congratulations to all the honorees. You do AABANY proud!